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"Indian batting is a huge problem for the Kolkata Knight Riders" - Gautam Gambhir

Shubman Gill was the highest run-scorer for the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2020 [P/C: iplt20.com]
Shubman Gill was the highest run-scorer for the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2020 [P/C: iplt20.com]
Kartik Iyer
ANALYST
Modified 19 Feb 2021
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Gautam Gambhir has opined the lack of quality Indian batting could prove to be the Kolkata Knight Riders' Achilles heel in IPL 2021.

The Kolkata-based franchise added a couple of Indian batsmen in Karun Nair and Sheldon Jackson to their existing squad at the auction.

While reviewing the IPL 2021 auction on Star Sports, Gautam Gambhir pointed out the lack of depth in the Indian batting department could prove to be the Kolkata Knight Riders' stumbling block.

"Indian batting is a huge problem for the Kolkata Knight Riders. Apart from Shubman Gill and to a certain extent Nitish Rana, I don't see so much of quality. Dinesh Karthik bats too low in the batting lineup, he has had a horrible season last time around," said Gambhir.

The former Kolkata Knight Riders skipper feels the franchise will be overly dependent on Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell in their quest for their first IPL title since 2014.

"That is the reason they will be very much dependent on Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell. Andre Russell needs to fire if they need to be competitive. They need to win the tournament, it's been 6-7 years they haven't won the tournament. You can look very good on paper but they haven't been that consistent," observed Gambhir.

"Are the Kolkata Knight Riders going to open with Sunil Narine?" - Gautam Gambhir

Sunil Narine failed to fire at the top of the order for the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2020
Sunil Narine failed to fire at the top of the order for the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2020
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Gautam Gambhir believes Kedar Jadhav would have added more value to the Kolkata Knight Riders squad than Karun Nair.

"Had they probably had a little better Indian batting lineup, probably someone like a Kedar Jadhav, yes they went for someone like an experienced Karun Nair. But Kedar Jadhav could have given them that little bit of firepower in the middle order. They have got Rahul Tripathi and Karun Nair but Karun Nair is probably more suited to bat at the top of the order. So from that point of view, I feel a little bit of chink in the armour," said Gambhir.

While giving an overall rating of seven out of ten to the Kolkata Knight Riders squad, the former Indian opener asked if Sunil Narine will be back at the top of the order for the franchise.

"Who are they going to open with? Are they going to open with Sunil Narine again with Shubman Gill? Do they have that much of firepower at the top of the order because Eoin Morgan at 4, Dinesh Karthik at 5 and Andre Russell is still the middle order," concluded Gambhir.

The Kolkata Knight Riders were let down by their batting department in IPL 2020. With Sunil Narine failing to fire as an opener, the two-time IPL champions pushed Nitish Rana to the top of the order, but with mixed success.

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The Eoin Morgan-led side will hope their top order delivers the goods in IPL 2021 and helps them win their third title in the prestigious league.


Published 19 Feb 2021, 13:36 IST
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